When buying wine, many people like to turn to reliable brands, regions or grape varieties with which they are familiar. Others seek out the unfamiliar or even esoteric.
Posted: April 23, 2014
Many wine drinkers are happy to buy what's in stock at their local fine-wine stores or supermarkets. After all, there are more choices than most people could drink in a lifetime. Other wine lovers turn to all available sources around the country, hunting down exactly the wines they want. As more and more states have modernized their regulations on alcohol sales and allowed wineries to ship directly to consumers, sales of wine online and through mailing lists have dramatically increased.
Posted: April 9, 2014
Bordeaux's 2011 wines have reached stores, but despite a wide selection of excellent ageable and accessible reds (see James Molesworth's tasting report in the March 31, 2014, issue of Wine Spectator), the vintage may have trouble moving through the market. It follows two superior vintages that were the most expensive in history, the Asian market has cooled off and, even with cuts from the previous years' futures prices, the 2011s were viewed as overpriced, turning off many consumers. The 2012 futures didn't sell well, and it remains to be seen how the small, difficult 2013 vintage will be priced, as the futures campaign is just about to begin.
Posted: March 26, 2014
In 2011, many producers of California Rhône-style wines were dealt the roughest growing season in a decade, with cool, damp weather. Despite the vintage's difficulties, James Laube found successes in each of the state's key regions (see the tasting report in the March 31 issue of Wine Spectator) particularly for those who enjoy wines of finesse and restraint.
Posted: March 12, 2014
The 2011 growing season brought perfect conditions to Portugal's Douro Valley, and the fresh, powerful and explosively fruity 2011 Vintage Ports are likely to stand as a benchmark of quality in the decades ahead. Overall, more than 20 wines rated a classic 95 points or higher in managing editor Kim Marcus' latest tasting report in the Jan. 31-Feb. 28 issue of Wine Spectator. But Vintage Port represents only 2 percent of Port production. There are a host of other styles, led by tawnies and Late Bottled Vintage Ports, both of which offer delicious, ready-to-drink flavors while you wait for Vintage Port to mature. Lighter-style ruby Ports feature plenty of direct flavors at bargain prices.
Posted: February 26, 2014
Pinot Noir dominates in Oregon in terms of quality, familiarity and production, with 60 percent of the state's 25,440 vineyard acres planted to the variety. However, Chardonnay is coming on strong, and it's the most consistent variety in Harvey Steiman's latest Oregon tasting report (see the Jan. 31–Feb. 28 issue of the magazine); 38 percent of the current offerings reviewed scored 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale. Other whites offered their share of top-scorers as well, including refreshing, tangy Pinot Gris and off-dry Rieslings.
Posted: February 12, 2014
Posted: January 29, 2014
Oregon's signature Pinot Noir style combines the transparency and light texture of Burgundy with the ripe flavors of California. Variation among individual producers and vintages spreads the spectrum of choices further. In his latest tasting report, editor at large Harvey Steiman finds that the state's current vintages offer a little of everything for Pinot Noir lovers—from 2011s, the lightest Pinots Oregon has produced in years, to the ripe, supple, soon-to-be-released 2012s, with the 2010s in between. (See his report, based on reviews of nearly 375 Pinot Noirs, in the Jan. 31-Feb. 28, 2014, issue of Wine Spectator.)
Posted: January 22, 2014
Posted: January 15, 2014
When reaching for a bottle of wine, do you find yourself most often opening a still white wine, a crisp pink rosé, a dry red, a bubbly sparkler, or an after-dinner quaff like fortified or dessert wine?
Posted: January 8, 2014
Sparkling wine evokes holiday cheer like nothing else, and almost every wine region produces a version or two. Some rely on the traditional varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while others embrace local grapes. Bubbles may be created following the Champagne model, by secondary fermentation in the bottle, or the Charmat method, in pressurized tanks before bottling. Some sparkling wines are dry in style, and others lightly sweet. For dozens of recommendations, see the Brilliant Sparklers tasting report in the Dec. 15 issue on Champagne and the Bargain Bubbly global list in our Dec. 31 issue.
Posted: December 18, 2013
Washington has commanded attention in recent years with bottlings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, along with widely planted Chardonnay and Riesling and a tantalizing range of lesser-known grape varieties. Based on the results of Wine Spectator's latest tasting report, in the Dec. 31 issue, in which 425 of nearly 975 wines reviewed rated 90 points or higher, the state has arrived as a consistent source of wines worth paying attention to in every category and price range.
Posted: December 11, 2013
Posted: December 4, 2013
When you're entertaining a large group of family and friends over the holidays, how do you handle your wine selections?
Posted: November 27, 2013
Posted: November 20, 2013
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